Science Fiction and Fantasy | An Indian Experience

Two Pigeons and the Island By Daya Dissanayake |
Issue 1

Two Pigeons and the Island By Daya Dissanayake

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“Is that an island over there?” Mayura asked the waiter.

“That’s the Pigeon Island.”

“Why? Do you have a lot of pigeons on the island?” Manori wanted to know.

“There had been many pigeons in the past, but not any more,” the waiter replied.

“Who is there on the island?”

“No one. It is a very small island, too small for anyone to live in. A few tourists visit the place by boat.”

The young couple wanted to see the island. They were informed that the hotel had a boat, which could be hired for the trip. Mayura wanted to spend the whole day on the island. At his request lunch, a flask of tea and several bottles of water, was made ready and handed over to Ravi, the boy who operated the boat.

Ravi turned the boat around and helped the couple to climb in. When they were safely seated on the bench, the boy started the engine and with a wave of his hand to the people on the beach, he took off towards the Pigeon Island.

When she looked behind her, Manori saw the shoreline getting away from her. Ahead of her, the island was growing larger and she could identify the few shrubs growing on it. She saw a fishing boat, with no one on it. Had it been abandoned, she wondered.

What they saw as one small island from the hotel beach, now she noticed were two small islands, at a fair distance from each other. They were already passing the first island. As they came closer to the Pigeon Island, they could see the coral formations and the fish swimming around the shallow waters.

Ravi helped the girl to step out of the boat and took the food and water in the basket, to be placed under a tree, above the high tide line.

“I will be back at five o’clock,” Ravi told them, as he went up to his boat.

Manori watched the boat taking off at such a speed, that it was travelling a few inches above the water for a short distance. She squeezed the young man’s hand and turned towards him with love filled eyes. Mayura pressed her hand a little tighter.

“Ooi, it hurts!”

“This is our island now,” Mayura shouted.

“You are the king and I’m the queen.”

“That’s what you think, but I got you down just for the day.”

“Try me. Now you have got me for eternity,” she told him.

Mayura took off his shirt and hung it from a branch of a tree nearby. Manori pleaded with him to find out if there was anyone else on the island. He walked behind Manori, along the beach, circling the island. The island was long and narrow, with a scattering of boulders at one end. They found it difficult to go across the rocks.

“Are you sure there is no one on the other side?” Manori asked.

“I don’t care if anyone is here,” Mayura told her as he walked up to where the food basket was placed and he started unzipping his trousers.

“You didn’t bring your bathing trunks,” Manori reminded him.

“Only you and I are here in the whole universe. Why do I need any clothes?” he asked her.

“You must be mad.”

“I want to be mad today. Now it’s your turn. Come on, get into the water,” he told her. On his pleading, she took off her outer garments and ran into the water.

“Do you remember the film Blue Lagoon?” he asked her.

“No, I don’t think I have seen it. I know it is an old film done even before I was born.”

§   §   §   

Ravi returned sharp at 5 o’clock.

He could not see the young couple. He thought they would have walked across to the other side of the island, and he settled down under a tree to wait for them.

He waited for about thirty minutes. The lovebirds had not returned. He was getting impatient. He started looking about him. Then he climbed up the rocks to look on the far side. He could not see anyone.

A small shadow of fear passed over Ravi’s mind.

After a short while, he decided that the young couple was not on the island. The next thought that came to his mind was that they had drowned in the sea. But how could anyone drown in such calm and shallow water.

Could they have been kidnapped? The only way to approach this island was by boat. If any other boat had come to the island, he would have seen it from the hotel beach.

Ravi ran to his boat and took off at a speed he had never even dreamt of. He was out of breath as he ran into the Manager’s room, after beaching the boat. The Manager was able to put together what Ravi was trying to say, and he told the receptionist to call the police, and ran to the beach, behind Ravi.

He summoned two security guards who were on the beach, and together, they raced back to the little island.

On the way they kept questioning Ravi. Ravi kept on repeating the same story, from the moment the couple had got into his boat. The police launch arrived, and Ravi had to repeat his story once more.

The police officers inspected the clothes under the tree. With the young man’s clothes, there were only the outer garments of the girl. Her undergarments were found closer to the water. Two police dogs began to sniff their way around. When it got dark, they continued the search with the aid of the torch lights. Several boats had been searching the surrounding sea, all the while.

They gave up the search when they realized there was nowhere else to look for.

In the morning, the police and the hotel staff, and a few villagers, arrived on the island, and started looking all over again, for any trace of the two young people, which they may have missed in the dark.

By noon they had to return, disappointed.

§   §   §   

Ravi sat on the hotel beach, gazing at the island. He did not want to believe that the couple had drowned. He did not realize that he had missed his lunch. He had been seated in the shade of a beach umbrella, but the shade had shifted. Yet he did not feel the afternoon sun on his body.

From the length of the shadows, he noticed that the time was around five o’clock.

Suddenly he stood up and walked to his boat. There was no one else around, and he had to push the boat in to the water all by himself.

A security guard saw him and walked up to help him.

“Where are you off to?” the guard asked him.

“I’m going to look for the couple.”

“Their bodies would be cast ashore tonight, somewhere!” the guard laughed. “You won’t find them on the island.”

He started the boat and headed towards the island, without bothering the reply. As he approached the island he realized that he would not find any one on the island. Then Ravi saw someone or something under a tree.

The young man and the girl were fast asleep under the tree. They did not have any clothes on. The girl had one hand flung carelessly over the boy.

‘Were they asleep, or dead?’ The thought flashed across Ravi’s mind.

Over fifty people and two dogs had searched the entire island, that same morning, combing every inch of land. If they were not here in the morning, and there was no means of transport for them from the island, then was he looking at the ghosts of dead people? Fear entered his mind next.

He hesitated to go near the two people, because he was afraid, that they could be dead, and he also felt shy, since they did not have any clothes on. Though he worked on a hotel beach and seen enough naked flesh, he could not understand why he felt shy. Ravi cleared his throat, when that did not have an effect. He tried to cough a few times. Then he tried to call the young man.

But they did not respond. His fear that they were dead started growing. He took courage and threw a stick at the sleeping figures.

Mayura opened his eyes, and with dazed eyes he started to look around, as if trying to figure out where he was. When he saw the naked girl sleeping next to him, he realized that he too had no clothes on.

Ravi pulled off his shirt and threw it at Mayura. Mayura covered the girl’s body with the shirt, as best he could, before he woke her.

“It’s not dark yet. Why did you come so early?” he asked. “We fell asleep after lunch, and were thinking of having another dip before you arrived.”

Mayura added as if to trying to explain their state of undress. His voice also sounded a little annoyed for the disturbance.

“I don’t know what you are talking about. You had asked me to come yesterday evening at five o’clock.”

“What do you mean yesterday, we came here only this morning?” Mayura asked in turn.

The girl was trying to hide behind the shirt. Ravi told them the events of the previous evening and this morning, still keeping a little away from them.

“I dropped you here yesterday morning. I came back yesterday evening sharp at five o’clock, but you were not here. Then we came back with the police and searched all over.”

Mayura could not believe it.

“Today is Sunday, you came here on Saturday,” Ravi added.

He also explained that the police had taken their clothes, and other belongings. Ravi went back to his boat to fetch a piece of cloth that he found on his seat, which he gave to Mayura to wrap around his waist.

Ravi had tried to ask them where they had spent the night and the entire day Sunday. But they kept insisting that they came to the island the same morning. But Ravi was certain that one full day had elapsed, from the time he found the couple missing from the island, and all the people at the hotel and the police were also aware of it.

As they watched the island grow smaller with the distance, Mayura wished how wonderful and romantic it would have been if really he and Manori had been able to spend a night on the island.

Cover Picture: Two Pigeons by Tiia Monto found at

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Born and living in Sri Lanka, Daya Dissanayake has published three novels. Out of these, two are historical novels and one is a freely available e-novel, The Saadhu Testament.